This is the final chapter of Linchpin. As you can tell, I really enjoyed this book and I hope you got some value out of my notes. Next up on The Bank of Notes is Rework by 37signals; I recently read it again and I have a lot more to say about it now (my previous notes were far too brief for such a brilliant book).
“My boss won’t let me” is the most common objection to the Linchpin philosophy. As Godin says:
Nine times out often, this isn’t true. One time out of ten, you should get a new job. (225)
If your company actually demands conformity and mediocrity, there’s no good reason to stay. You’re not building any valuable skills, you can’t be enjoying it, and your value in the marketplace depreciates the longer you stay.
What’s more common is that your boss doesn’t understand why you’re not more enthusiastic and would love for you to become a linchpin.
There’s a difference between “my boss won’t let me” and “my boss won’t explicitly endorse everything I do and take the fall if I mess up.”
“The vivid truth is this: now that we have the freedom to create, we must embrace the fact that not all creations are equal, and some people aren’t going to win. That doesn’t mean you’re a loser…perhaps your art lies somewhere else.” (226-227)
“Do your art. But don’t wreck your art if it doesn’t lend itself to paying the bills. That would be a tragedy.” (228)
As you figure out how to make money doing what you love without compromising it, find a way to love whatever you currently happen to be doing to make money.
The system is still adjusting to the new economy and the increasing importance of linchpins. Even if you have some awesome idea, it’s still your responsibility to sell it to your boss.
“Your boss has a worldview, too. When you propose something that triggers his resistance, what do you expect will happen?” (229)
“Focus on making changes that work down, not up. Interacting with customers and employees is often easier than influencing bosses and investors.”
“Don’t ask your boss to run interference, cover for you, or take the blame. Instead, create moments where your boss can happily take credit. Once that cycle begins, you can be sure it will continue.”